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Posts from the ‘Reading Updates’ Category

The Grit And Realism Of “The Sportswriter”

The Sportswriter has that gritty, realistic feel of an Updike novel.

To this point, it’s not near as dark as Rabbit Run, but the overall “feel” is the same.

Frank Bascombe is a failed novelist-turned successful sportswriter, divorced with 3 kids, one of whom recently passed. His background is sad, but he’s by no means given up on life. More than anything, he seems to be floating through life—simply responding to what comes his way.

The novel just has such an intuitive grasp of the human condition—on the slightly cynical side of things. I love how Frank describes selflessness and friendship in this passage, which follows a meeting with an acquaintance, Walter, who awkwardly reveals he’s gay. Read more

Looking Back On The Lord Of The Rings

Oh, you thought I was done?

Well, I’m almost finished talking about The Lord of the Rings…after today.

I reviewed the book last week and have moved on to The Sportswriter. But before I officially kick off blog posts about The Sportswriter tomorrow, I thought I’d take a look back at all the posts about The Lord of the Rings.

So here’s a quick rundown if you missed anything: Read more

“Well, I’m back,” he said.

I’m finished with The Lord of the Rings.

Can I get a round of applause? Thank you.

I’ll be posting my official review tomorrow, but in the meantime I thought I’d share with you the final passage of the novel.

I guess I should give you a SPOILER ALERT here, though it’s really no spoiler, unless knowing that three main characters are alive at the end of the novel would bother you.

The beauty of the passage is its finality. Read more

The First 70: A Look Back

I usually conduct this little exercise after every 10 books, but I completely forgot after book 70. So I’m a little late this time around.

It’s been nearly 4 years, 70+ books, and 30,000 pages since I started this project. So let’s take a look back. Here are some of the best and the worst from the first 70 books I’ve read this time around. Read more

Samwise’s Stirring Speech

This is one of my favorite scenes from the three Lord of the Rings movies. This one comes from The Two Towers, and I know it has a little Hollywood screenwriting trickery here.

Though a good portion of Sam’s speech does actually appear in the novel, this particular scene does not. In fact, Sam’s monologue about stories happens in Shelob’s cave–correct me if I’m wrong.

But, still, it’s such a great scene. And a lot of the dialogue is actually in the book.

Such a great, great film. Enjoy this classic scene from The Two Towers. Read more

My Favorite Passage From The Fellowship of the Ring

If Gandalf isn’t the wisest character in the history of novels, then I don’t know who is. Okay, Atticus Finch might give him a run for his money.

I just love Gandalf. His wisdom, patience, his incredible display of force when needed, and his discernment of when to use said force.

He’s one of my favorite characters, and I think that’s because a lot of what he says ties in to my faith and personal beliefs.

This passage from The Fellowship of the Ring is a good example. He’s responding to Frodo, who questions why Gandalf didn’t kill Gollum when he had the opportunity. Read more

One Ring To Rule Them All

What is it about these verses that send shivers down my spine?

Have I become a Lord of the Rings fanboy?

I mean, I’ve always loved the books. And I thought the movies were amazing. I’ve watched each of them 3 times.

And this verse just makes me giddy. It’s so good, so perfect, and such a great setup for the entire story. Read more


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